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      Kamala Harris and Joe Biden each have terrible records. There is no reason to believe they will do much that is good, and every reason to believe they will do much that is bad. Trump will, at least for Americans, probably be even worse. (It is less clear he will be better for foreigners.) The […]
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The payoffs – and obstacles – to attending to women’s work in the current economy

Brace yourself. I know this will come as a great shock, but the economic stimulus package does not, in the opinion of genuine academics, address gender realities in the economy.

From a must-read column by Professor Mimi Abramovitz:

Contrary to popular wisdom, spending on services like health care and education produces a bigger bang for the economic-stimulus buck than billions of dollars devoted to roads and bridges. …. For years service jobs have been “reserved” for women. Could this be why mostly male economists have pushed for “shovel ready” jobs held mostly by men as the way to dig us out of the economic quagmire? Could it be that sustaining the male-breadwinner and female-homemaker division of labor trumped economic good sense?

From Professor Susan Feiner learn about W.E.A.V.E and its position on the current stimulus package:

No. 1: Revive and enforce Labor Department regulations requiring affirmative action for all federal contractors.

No. 2: Set aside apprenticeship and training programs in infrastructure projects for women and people of color. Both groups are seriously underrepresented in the construction trades.

No. 3: Spend recovery money on projects in health, child care, education and social services.

Before going into detail on these three targets, let’s also look at two over-arching problems with the current plan: Too meager, too male.

Women make up a huge proportion of the workforce, they own homes in ever greater numbers, they have consumer clout – but economically, women are systemically disadvantaged in ways that make put them at greater financial risk then  men. Whether it be for reasons of justice or reasons of prudence, our country cannot afford economic measures that do not address this disparity in risk. We must design economic programs that put women forward.

160 Responses

  1. oh im quite sure men and women alike will be screwed by this spendulous passage, afterall, obama got 350 billion of bush’s spendulous package and now he’s got a trillion with this damned “unread by anyone” package, face it, harry and nancy and obambi
    and all the other cronies just paid off who they owed, it’s just that simple, the bank run happend on the 15th of sept, and bush announces the crisis around the 19th, this was all done by obama cronies with zillions of dollars, they knew exactly what they were doing, they will slowly put their money back in to make it look like Obami did it, LOLOLOLOLOLOLOl what a bunch of fools we have, it’s a tragic but true story

  2. Again, women have all the power they (we) need to address our inequalities. If we just vote our own best interests and stop thinking that they have mostly to do with our Uteri, we would have the majority of political power in this country and CERTAINLY in the democratic party.
    Unfortunately many many women went to the polls and voted for the guy with the male anatomy and the three piece suit. It is no different than in business where any 22 year old guy with a suit can get a promotion over any 40 something woman just because…..

    Remember the democratic party would NEVER EVER anywhere win another election if women stopped voting for democrats. We have them by the “balls” and we refuse to acknowledge that fact.

  3. what would have happened if thousands of women had just sent a message to the super delegates that they refused to vote for democrats unless the choice of the people, Clinton, was given the nomination?

  4. It really can’t be that we wimmens have any complaint, since we’re only recognized in the Constitution under voting rights.

  5. Now, as to women’s work.. yes of course women will get the dregs and crumbs of this stimulus package. Why should 2009 be any different.
    Has Kim Gandy commented BTW? OR is she too busy appearing in Tom Hanks look alike contests?

  6. Heidi Li …
    I am professional , an RN .
    Per Diem nursing doing Home Health starting rates are $35 / visit .. and some reimbursement for mileage
    yes you read that right … plumbers electricians etc etc make more …

  7. Ah, I love the snarky-goodness of the commenters here.

    Swan: that figure about home health care is absolutely astonishing. Heartbreaking.

  8. Heidi Li .. and they ( they being administrators who make exorbitant salaries and congresspeople who gave themselves a raise this year ) wonder , postulate ,and write reams about why there is a nursing shortage … astonishing to me ……… when even $50 a visit would have nurses running out the door to work …

  9. My Good bye to this place is downstairs.

    SOD and Angie. Myiq, Joanelle, Nancy, Elderj- especially Angie and SOD. Thanks for making me feel welcome. I can’t take this shit anymore.

    Angie you are a beautiful person and I am so proud of what you have accomplished.

    SOD you have a heart of gold and are so giving

    Regency you are a brilliant young woman

    Simofish it was a pleasure meeting you in Chicago. You are very a very old soul which much wisdom.

    Boston Boomer– You are simply amazing

    Myiq you rock and your sensitvity has touched me on many levels.

    It is obvious that there are PUMAs that are bothered by some Republicans being on this board. This past week or so I became a part time lurker. It is hard for me to do. This morning I came to say Happy V-day and saw again another comment warning against scary Repubs.

    This is not the place I used to come to.
    Thanks for everything and the support given to me during the election.

    I guess we all agree that Hillary would have been the best person for the job.

  10. some 2008 stats

    Employment and Salary

    According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 2.4 million nurses in America, the largest healthcare occupation, yet many academic and hospital organizations believe there is a gross shortage in nursing staff. The shortage of nurses was 6% in 2000 and is expected to be 10% in 2010. The average salary for hospital nursing is $53,450 with 3 out of 5 nursing jobs are in the hospital. For home health care, the salary is $49,000. For nursing care facilities, they were the lowest at $48,200.

    Reasons Nurses shouldn’t ask for more money range from putting more a burden oin the health care system .. to “professionals need not be concerned regarding remuneration because they are in it for the gratification of helping the sick and they shold just “serve” … I kid you not …….
    and there absolutely is a critical nursing shortage in this country , actually worldwide……..

  11. so sorry my typing takes a hit when I try to go too fast LOL …

  12. Spot on! Heidi, another excellent post. Yes, we learn a lot when we look at our culture’s “given” values. Follow the money trail: look at the industries involved in this “stimulus” bill.

    What if the bill had more money for clinics, maternal-baby home visits, eldercare visits, senior centers, day-care centers? Most adults caring for older, frail parents are working women. Interesting fact — daughters-in-law are more apt to do the caring for the parents-in-law than are the husbands. We’d improve the health of our citizens, and ease the financial burden on parents — many of them single moms. We need to look at that “trickle-around” factor!

  13. OH man Afrocity, i dont know what the comment was , but i promise you you dont scare me one single bit and I will cry real tears if you go …..and if you must .. can you please email me and keep in touch ??

  14. Republicans couldn’t even pronounce “bipartisan” until Obama was sworn in. They got the useless tax cuts they wanted, so why are they still whining? “Bipartisanship” doesn’t mean getting your way 100%

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~the above is a true kool aide drinker that post on cnn blogs, um note he says, “useless” tax cuts, isnt that what obami ran on, i would love to hear this person actually say “bipartisan” probably says “skrong” all the time like michelle our first lady does.

  15. Afrocity et al… it may be time for me to go as well, though it is difficult to leave. knowing me, i’ll probably lurk from time to time and snark here and there. What i don’t want to see (and what I suspect troubles afrocity) is TC become an echo chamber of ideological rigidity that is closed to authentic dialogue. Of late, there has been more than a bit of that around

  16. Let me be blunt: I’ve learned to view all public relations labels (and that includeds “Republican”, “Democrat”, PUMA, JSND, NOW, Ms. – there are concepts and ideals that certain communities fight for and live up to. As I have said before, using liberalism in its classical sense (and I’m sorry Afrocity, but in that classical sense you qualify although I understand why you reject the label because sometimes it is used in the PR way), this site epitomizes a liberal community. And it is communities not PR movements that are ultimately going to determine how are our vast fares. I don’t want to lose members of our community who feel uncomfortable, but I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable because they are outliers on some matters.

    I’m an outlier in this community on some matters. But I’d rather be an outlier here than an a total centerpiece somewhere else.

    That’s why I bring my ideas or information sources over.

  17. afrocity, you have added so much to this site! And to the View from Under the Bus!

    I’m sure the door will remain open to you. I look forward to visiting your blog when….

  18. Afro – we need to hear/see both sides of every coin if we are to represent the American popuous – it just happens that our elected representatives dont’ know how to play “bipartisan” they each want it their way or no way – that’s not bipartisan.
    I am a registered Independent – clearly a liberal leaning moderate and want to hear what you have to say – so I hope that you will at least “pop in” from time to time if you can’t be here regularly. 😦

  19. Elderj you can e-mail me at abzug11@gmail.com, anytime.

  20. I hope that afrocity doesn’t leave. I enjoy reading her comments and think that she is a perfect example of why it is foolish to demonize the other party. When you do so you are alienating and pushing away good people that agree with you on many issues. Just not all issues.

    I am ashamed to admit to having thought like that for a long time. I actually believed that all Republicans were evil. I knew better. Hell, half my family is Republican and I know they aren’t bad people.

    This election cycle opened my eyes to a lot of things. I now stand back and watch and know that there are some good Republicans and some bad Democrats. Always have been and always will be.

    Only a fool believes that just because someone doesn’t agree with you that they are bad or evil.

  21. teresainpa, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:22 am Said:

    what would have happened if thousands of women had just sent a message to the super delegates that they refused to vote for democrats unless the choice of the people, Clinton, was given the nomination?

    ********
    This is SO what SHOULD have happened.

  22. Meanwhile, at least we have Secretary Clinton going to attend to the hotspot of North Korea (Dick Morris having conveniently forgotten that we better have our SoS concentrating on Asia – as in China, Indonesia, N. Korea, Japan.)

  23. Afrocity.. you are a republican? shit woman, I don’t give a damn. I voted for one in November for the first time. I am dating one now. Please do not leave, we need you and “the commenter” and all PUMA voices. The very idea of PUMA sites being only liberal or democratic is self defeating.

    We need you and love you and hope you will not be gone long.

    From a semi-liberal fan.

  24. Hey Afrocity–

    I’m mostly just a lurker here and perhaps I should comment more, but I can’t tell you how much it saddens me that you are no longer going to add your voice to the Confluence. There’s one thing that this last year finally taught me and it’s that Democrats definitely do not have a monopoly on either good intentions, respect for others, or the desire to do what’s right for this country. I can’t see myself ever turning Republican (although I find myself siding with paleocons like Ron Paul on foreign policy)–I could never be a Republican if only because I want to see UHC, not that I see much hope for that even with Democrats in charge. But I do recognize that there are Republicans who are worthy of respect, whose brand of conservatism is every bit as founded on deep-seated principles and ideals as my own politics are, and you are most definitely one of the best representatives of that group. I so enjoyed your tribute to Shirley Chisolm just a few nights ago, and I truly will miss your contributions to my own education. You are also one funniest posters I’ve ever read when the mood strikes you.

    Happy Valentine’s Day! It sounds like your mind is made up, but I still hold out a smidgeon of hope that you’ll reconsider. I wish you all the best, wherever you choose to hang out in cyberspace.

  25. Happy Valentine’s Day, afrocity and everyone else. I’ll look for you over at LGF.

  26. Afrocity,

    I mostly lurk too but I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments. Most recently, I enjoyed our discussion about the books we’ve been reading. You seem like an open-minded, level headed person and I share a lot of your views. I hope you don’t leave, but I would love to continue our discussions via email if that’s ok with you.

    Here is my email: ngcummings@comporium.net

  27. afrocity

    I lurk more than post – but that is my nature (plus I often arrive way after the posts have been closed). I understand your reaction to some of the recent threads. I have found the tone to be a tad demeaning mysef and I am an independent. I figured that human nature being what it is – some of the frustration over the useless bill was being aimed at the Rs becuase they actualy managed to make O uncomfortable. Something the Ds dare not do. I have always found your input and perspective added a great balance to the discussions. Perhaps just take a short break – but do not leave. Without a wide variety of perceptions and beliefs – discussions become just cheer leading exercises – and I think we have all had our fill of those. And goodness know O has to have his everyday.

    On of the reasons I have always found these threads to be of value is that for many months the typical “our way or no way” was not the overall theme of most of the posts and comments.

    I have always felt that the labels Dem and Rep are thrown around with not much thought. Heidi made a point about the real meanings and the PR side which is very true. I have always felt than the majority of people are a combination of liberal and conservative – its s spectrum and on some issues one can be conservative (e.g., fiscal) and other (e.g., social) might be ar more liberal. Thus pigeon holing people into one or the other can be very misleading.

  28. I no longer know what it means to be an R or a D. There are no clear lines anymore. I was always a proud D until this election. The behavior of the Obots made me realize that I am much more conservative than I knew. Maybe I’m a closet R!

    All I know for sure now is that neither party seems to know what they are doing and what’s worse, we can’t trust anyone. Plus, there are just too many grey areas these days to put labels on people. My feet are firmly planted in the middle now. I am going to judge based only on actions and character.

  29. Here’s an excellent opinion piece by John (“Judas”) Judis on the inadequacy of the stimulus bill and the failure of the left to exert pressure on Obama (as expected, many of the reader comments validate Judis’s thesis):

    https://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/the-payoffs-and-obstacles-to-attending-to-womens-work-in-the-current-economy/#comments

    BTW, Afrocity, it’s been more than evident that you are welcome here, as someone worthy of respect and as a self-professed Republican. This is very much a left-leaning site, so a certain amount of left-leaning bias is a given, though, as renegade liberals, above all we cherish principle. We feel free, no, make that we feel obligated to criticize the Democratic party’s transgressions, and we routinely do so. That’s the essence of being a PUMA. If the occasional comment is harsh in re to Republican philosophy, that’s pretty much to be expected.

  30. Time is reporting that Lieberman played a crucial role in talking several Republicans off the ledge and into voting for the plan, thereby vindicating Obama’s refusal to be vindictive towards him.

    Wonder how happy Kos is about this – he did everything he could to defeat Lieberman. Now will he heap praises on him for helping pull of the deal.

  31. afrocity, I too am a regular lurker at the Confluence. I have enjoyed your comments and perspective immensely. I too felt the sting of some of the comments this morning, and I am a former 35 year loyal to the bone Democrat. I realized this past year, maybe not so much anymore. I have become open to other points of view that I was not opened to before, including Republican points of view. I voted for McCain/Palin, and am one that does admire her, Bottom line, you are an important voice here. I hope you reconsider.

    Heidi Li, you consistently continue to inspire. Thank you for this post.

  32. teresainpa: “Has Kim Gandy commented BTW? OR is she too busy appearing in Tom Hanks look alike contests?”

    LOLOLOLOLOLOL! I can’t remember who pointed out that she looks like Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies. Was it you? She really does.

  33. Afrocity,

    I hope you don’t really mean it. I was going to ask your help with something this weekend. I want to have a discussion about Obama and Alinsky’s rules for radicals. I read American Thinker too, you know and as I posted down below, I am still very open to bipartisan ideas and input. I learned my lesson this year and will never again demonize Republicans and conservatives. For heaven’s sake, this year I often found myself agreeing with Pat Buchanan about some things and completely disagreeing with numerous Democrats!

  34. Jmac, on February 14th, 2009 at 1:37 pm Said:
    Time is reporting that Lieberman played a crucial role in talking several Republicans off the ledge and into voting for the plan, thereby vindicating Obama’s refusal to be vindictive towards him.

    ————————————————————-

    “Several Republicans?” I thought only 3 republican senators voted for the bill.

  35. Elderj,

    No, it’s not time for you to leave. If this site became the type of place that was exclusive rather than inclusive, I would leave too. That isn’t going to happen.

  36. Thanks for this great post, Heidi. On the way home in the car awhile ago, I was listening to NPR and they were talking about all the “shovel ready” jobs in MA where the funds will go. They were all highway and other construction projects–nothing involving jobs that women traditionally are hired for. I was thinking about this very problem and then came home to your post. Thank you!

  37. I will not fall into the trap of believing that all Republicans are somehow bad. Just like I will not fall into the trap of believing all Democrats are somehow good. Nothing is ever that cut-and-dried. I, too, like Sarah Palin even though I have no doubt that we disagree on many issues. I think she and I would also agree on many issues. It’s just part of being a critical thinker and being independent and secure enough to listen to others’ points of view. I hope that you will come back, afrocity.

  38. heidili, on February 14th, 2009 at 12:17 pm Said:
    teresainpa, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:22 am Said:

    what would have happened if thousands of women had just sent a message to the super delegates that they refused to vote for democrats unless the choice of the people, Clinton, was given the nomination?

    ********
    This is SO what SHOULD have happened.
    ==============

    I’m pretty sure it did happen. Problem was the email boxes of the SD’s became the most ignored communication device out there. I vividly recall seeing some really nasty responses being sent to the women who emailed their demands for Hillary getting the support she deserved from some of the SDs.

    No one responds well to threats. The emails we send to our democratic representatives need to be an intelligent argument for why they should listen to us. The angry responses from some of the Rules Committee members were an obvious example of how they respond to being bombarded with threats.

  39. It is clear that this stimulus package was not well thought out at all- there was no systematic attempt to make it fair, let alone effective.If there was, there would have been more time devoted to it and more input recruited. Remember, we didn’t get the requisite 5 days of oversight (ha, ha).It is not surprising that it would be overbalanced against women’s needs, but I’m sure there are many other inequities as well.

    Not to sound like a republican(notwithstanding our current discussion, and please stay afrocity!), but I did catch some of the finance committee hearings during the “development” of this bill, and Bachus, the chairman, systematically tabled any amendments from the republican members,regardless of their relative benignity.He stated that there will be time to add and debate on the floor,but this really didn’t happen. It was partisan from both sides from day one with no clear logic from on high.We are left with prayers, I’m afraid.

  40. NationalAunthem,

    I’m not sure how you know that they were responding to “threats.” If you mean the threat to run someone against them in a primary or to refuse to vote for the Democrat, too f’n bad if they didn’t like it. Our votes are the only leverage we have. We have every right to vote someone out of office if they don’t respond to our needs and letting them know that is going to happen shouldn’t really be characterized as a “threat.” It’s just our right to let them know that.

  41. bostonboomer, on February 14th, 2009 at 2:16 pm Said:
    Elderj,

    No, it’s not time for you to leave. If this site became the type of place that was exclusive rather than inclusive, I would leave too. That isn’t going to happen.
    ============

    Actually, I think this site is very exclusive. There’s a small clique of commenters who only talk among themselves, and do a shout out to “check your email” when they want to underscore the exclusive nature of the club.

    So unwelcoming, that I know I miss some really great posts for how seldom I feel like wandering over here.

  42. Afrocity, why are you and elderj wanting to leave?

    You surely know your opinions and thoughts are valued here.

    Besides, you know you’ll lurk and then you’ll have me lurking to see if you are lurking and all that mess. 😆

  43. National Aunthem,

    The “check your e-mail” messages are generally from people preparing radio shows or posts. Sometimes it is moderators who need to get each other’s attention. Anyone can join in the discussion and become part of the “clique,” as you call it. On any site, there are people who are around at the same time and get to know each other. That doesn’t mean that others are excluded. I think our history is that we have been very welcoming. Over the months, we welcomed into our ranks people who came here from several other sites. If you stick around and join in the conversations, you will be welcomed too.

  44. gosh Authem, I’m sorry you feel that way, i always try to answer as many questions and commenters as possible when the thread is mine

  45. “I’m pretty sure it did happen. Problem was the email boxes of the SD’s became the most ignored communication device out there”

    Yes, I believe you are right.I recall many generic and otherwise letters being sent. Many also tried calling and writing snail mail. It was frustrating, as I don’t think it would have made a great deal of difference, as many of the responses were angry, but pre-ordained. We just didn’t seem to be a serious threat to the SD’s or otherwise, just as our current letters seem to fall on deaf ears.They almost seem to receive a better response, though, when they are original and unique, but I may be wrong.

  46. There’s a small clique of commenters who only talk among themselves, and do a shout out to “check your email” when they want to underscore the exclusive nature of the club.

    I’m sorry you feel that way but I don’t agree – there is a core group that is pretty vocal but anyone is free to join in.

    The “check your email” stuff is either personal communications or site business. Some things shouldn’t be posted publically.

  47. dak- I like the way you keep a dialogue going in your threads, it is very educational. Heidi usually does this as well!

  48. bostonboomer, on February 14th, 2009 at 2:27 pm Said:
    NationalAunthem,

    I’m not sure how you know that they were responding to “threats.” If you mean the threat to run someone against them in a primary or to refuse to vote for the Democrat, too f’n bad if they didn’t like it. Our votes are the only leverage we have. We have every right to vote someone out of office if they don’t respond to our needs and letting them know that is going to happen shouldn’t really be characterized as a “threat.” It’s just our right to let them know that.
    ============

    Just saying that the nasty responses many got from their SDs showed how the threats to vote them out were being received. Didn’t even allude to the idea we don’t have a right and a need to communicate. I write to my elected officials all the time…I just don’t include the “do what I say or else” paragraph. For all I know they are getting just as many emails demanding the opposite actions from others in their constituency.

    I admit that I did write to one of my Democratic Senators, laid out my position and told her that I could see no alternative but to vote for her opponent this election. But, I let her know she had already lost my vote…it seems harder on them to know they have to try to get back the voters they lost. They know most people will vote their party, and if they haven’t left yet, they most likely won’t….which is evidenced by who our current president is.

  49. There’s a small clique of commenters who only talk among themselves, and do a shout out to “check your email” when they want to underscore the exclusive nature of the club.

    That’s just women gossiping amongst themselves. 😉

    I think mostly it has to do with their internet radio show.

  50. NationalAunthem, sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself on this site, but that’s better than not talking at all, especially since, given our 5 million-plus hits, there have to be many, many people out there reading but remaining mum (at least online). Who knows what effect any given post or comment will have on whom? The hope (to coin a phrase) is that there are hidden positives.

  51. NationalAunthem: Just to say that I am pretty much a regular blogger on this site and have found myself many times more than likely 10 minutes into the thread before I get a response.

    Much of this is due in large part to the fact that you are entering an on going conversation and the commentators are still going back in forth with a point.

    Unlike “Cheers” when Norm enters, neither do I get recognized immediately. I would like to think it is nothing personal.

  52. Kat5,

    I think part of the problem is that we have just one thread and it’s kind of hard to respond directly to someone. Those of us who have been here forever (I’ve been here since Jan. 2008) have gotten used to it and we try to find ways to respond to people’s comments anyway. I’ve gotten so I actually like the meandering threads with various people carrying on conversations with each other, if you know what I mean.

  53. I accidentally put in a smiley!

  54. Pat Johnson, on February 14th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I always look for you Pat. As of late, now I’m curious to see if you’ve gotten dressed for the day or not or if you’re still schlepping around in a housecoat! LOL!

  55. Lots of times I *am* talking to myself. It often happens that I post things that nobody responds to. I just keep right on posting them anyway. LOL! I’ve always been a loudmouth though. I’d hate to tell you the nicknames I had in school for talking so much.

  56. Fredster: I am dressed! My intent was to take myself to Target and Barnes and Noble. Have I made it out the door yet? Nope. Perhaps tonight. Or maybe tomorrow. I am becoming much to much attached to the blog.

  57. Fredster,

    I loved your comment about us riding in the beer truck while those other sites pride themselves on their BMW’s. I’ll take the beer truck any day. I’ve always disliked snobs and elitists.

  58. See? I’m actually ignoring BB’s 2 comments above. everyone does it.

  59. Pat,

    I did make it to Whole Foods. I spent $90 and only left with 2 bags. I’m so ashamed!

  60. Fredster, LOL!

  61. alot of times I make a generic comment not addressed to an individual person, but addressing the issues they brought up in the conversation.

  62. I remember a day last May when I had a group of workmen in to take out my old furnace and replace with a new one along with air conditioning. The noise coming out of the cellar was deafening.

    I made my way to the second floor where I have my computer and due to the noise I had to shut the door to the room. Keeping out of their way, but having to stay home, had me online for about 8 hours. Don’t know if Boston Boomer remembers that but she kept me company for a better part of it.

  63. Threads meander at times but they are always interesting.

  64. I don’t remember specifically, Pat, but I always love talking to you.

  65. i lot of time i post during my office hours and have to leave give a lecture too … my post yesterday was going to collide with some one else so I scheduled and I was in a seminar, so I never even got to read all the comments on that until later in the afternoon. l really try to respond to people, although I’ll admit, especially when the threads get bunched up it’s difficult.

    I was tired yesterday, didn’t show up at all, and just caught up with the other threads …

  66. BB: I was trying to look for a less-offensive analogy than the beer-truck/Beemer thing, but could not find the correct words. However the impression sticks. I do think some blogs think of themselves that way. And in fact there was a discussion over at “the bldg” one time about “lesser quality” posts appearing there. Of course the poster who did that, put up a meandering, I-wonder-where-this-is-going post and toward the end finally admitted they were drunk. I thought “Oh, so much for the quality thing there.”

    I do get the impression amongst the bloggers that we are the new kid on the block and so haven’t earned our stripes, but I’ll take the hit count of over 5 million to show that someone, somewhere is reading what our writers put up here.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Have I made it out the door yet? Nope. Perhaps tonight. Or maybe tomorrow. I am becoming much to much attached to the blog.

    Pat I understand about these things. It is necessary to sit down over numerous cups of coffee or tea to formulate the plan to see how we will attack the undertaking of the trip. 😉

  67. bostonboomer, on February 14th, 2009 at 2:53 pm Said:

    Pat,

    I did make it to Whole Foods. I spent $90 and only left with 2 bags. I’m so ashamed!

    Is that how you’re gonna spend your extra $13.00? You’re just like the govt! You’re going in the hole with the spending!!

  68. Fredster: See, you understand! Normally I am on the go, in and out, but for some reason this week I got thoroughly lazy. My intentions were good today but…………

    It is all taggles fault!

  69. my extra $13 will go for wine … but probably not domestic .. which means I’m going to make the Italians, Argentinians or french happy

  70. Enjoy the $13.00. I, on the other hand, get nothing.

  71. There’s a difference between Republicans and Democrats working together while maintaining their core principles and deliberately attempting to maneuver the country into a UniParty totalitarianism. It often feels as if some in government and the media are preaching the former to disguise the latter. Like many Conflucians, I left the Democratic party last year, and now have no official party affiliation. However, I don’t want Democrats to stop being Democrats or Republicans to stop being Republicans. Unfortunately, I fear that we are being purposely agitated along those lines.

  72. Since CA is going to raise the gas tax, sales tax, state income tax, and vehicle license fees, any extra money will be going to taxes. And they are cutting services.

  73. BB: re-the beer truck. It would be too hysterical if you all opened one of the shows with “Live from the Iron City rolling studio/beer truck it’s … [insert show name there] !!

  74. Gotta run for a bit.

    BBL

  75. Pat Johnson, on February 14th, 2009 at 2:56 pm Said:

    PAT! (That’s me greeting you like you are Norm).

    Seriously, the threads do meander – that’s why they are threads on a blog and a more formal discussion format. And when I first started leaving comments here I felt that if somebody didn’t respond to what I said, it meant everyone hated me. But of course that wasn’t it at all. (Well, of course it is but everybody has been too kind to say so (broad smile)). First, I think people were trying to figure out where I was coming from, and also whether I was going to comment regularly enough to suggest that I was interested in a response.

    If somebody is new to the site or is a lurker who only comments occasionally and she or he wants a response to a specific comment, please SAY so – say, “I lurk or I’m new, but I wonder if somebody who sees this can tell me what she or he thinks of the point.” And if nobody tells you anything, it COULD be that everybody likes the point but feels like it has done its work and nobody has anything further to add.

    Look upthread here for example: there’s Swanspirit giving me more and more excellent information about nurses and nursing. And until now I haven’t stopped to say each time: WHAT a perfect example of what these professors I have highlighted mean to pinpoint.

    PAT!

  76. lililam, on February 14th, 2009 at 2:37 pm Said:
    Dittoing dak’s thanks.

  77. PumaInSeattle, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:43 am Said:
    The point about freeing up adult women to enter the workforce in positions of caretaking that they are qualified for by life experience by using stimulus money to create jobs in such sectors is a great one.

  78. the commenter (yes it’s me), on February 14th, 2009 at 12:00 pm Said:

    I agree…it seemed to really start happening after the Weblog award nomination, although that nomination may have just brought out what was there already.

    I think many folks are not just liberal but are somewhat averse to the “republican” label…this may be leading to a bit of closed mindedness/echo chamber.

    I had identified as a dem my entire life as a voter until last year, but this election changed things for me. I’m not a dem or a dem in exile….or a republican. I guess there’s a reason there’s lots of left blog and right blogs…but not many in between? What’s a middle-of-the-roader to do?? 🙂

  79. heidi: Too funny! Thanks for the shout out! Should I expect this going forward? If so, I want to be dressed for the occasion. Jammies, socks, and a stain covered bathrobe doesn’t seem fitting.

  80. I have less history and investment here than afrocity, and as I said, i will likely lurk a bit. besides, I have to hang around so that angienc has someone to pine after (don’t tell her I said that 🙂 )

    I will say though I respect the liberal leanings of this blog and always have, even as I’ve made it clear from the outset that I lean conservative. Until this last election, I’d never cast a vote for any Republican (except one) and fully expected that this election would be the same. However, I examined my conscience, my convictions and the evidence before me and decided to vote McPalin. It was not a protest vote as it was for some; I firmly believed they were better for the job than BO… and it looks like I was right the way things are going.

    I don’t mind vigorous disagreement, but I have a big issue with name calling and outright disparagement of contrary views. I have never, nor do I ever recall afrocity, referred to Democrats or liberals negatively in our posts here, though I disagree sometimes with the policy prescriptions. To be fair, I have never been directly attacked and personally have been welcomed. However, the discussion is often filled with accusations that are unfair and broad brush strokes against Republicans as if all were the same or as if none had ever done anything right, which is patently untrue and unfair.

  81. Heidi: glad to see you here, love this thread. one thing I always wonder when I see this topic is why, after so many years, women’s work is still so undervalued. We notice the patterns in labor markets that when that job reaches a certain threshold of women participants, the wages go down. I wonder if its still that idea that women are only working for mad money and not really contributing anything.

  82. I am in moderation…:|

  83. I was just checking on the morans at Blogstalkers – bless their hearts they are trying to be a real blog but they just can’t quit us.

    If they do a post about anything but PUMA they are lucky to get a comment thread with double-digits.

  84. They’re still whining about not being allowed to crap on our rug too

  85. myiq2xu – what blog is “Blogstalkers”?

  86. Dakinikat,

    I tried to find grits at Whole Foods, but all they had was polenta. Are they the same thing? I didn’t buy the polenta, because it was almost $9.00 for a bag that probably weighed a pound.

  87. I have never, nor do I ever recall afrocity, referred to Democrats or liberals negatively in our posts here

    I think we’re a lot more open-minded about Republicans and conservatives than you’ll see at most lefty blogs, and we’re far more tolerant than the winger blogs are towards liberal Democrats.

  88. what the h3ll is polenta? is that some fancy creative class name for grits?

  89. what blog is “Blogstalkers”?

    I’d tell you but then you might go there and I couldn’t live with myself if that happened.

  90. Elderj,

    It’s the Italian name for ground up bits of corn. It doesn’t quite look like grits to me. They had instant and quick cooking grits at the regular supermarket, but I wanted to find the real thing. I guess up here in New England it isn’t so easy to find.

  91. I can’t apologize for being a liberal or calling it as I see it. I just can’t do that .

  92. myiq2xu – if I went there I’d probably only go once, just to see. I don’t usually run after “haters”….:)

  93. PJ – I don’t expect anyone to apologize for their opinions. I don’t apologize for mine. But… I do expect and I think TC has generally provided, a climate of respectful engagement even when there is disagreement.

  94. Grits = yummy southern goodness

  95. BB,
    Grits/polenta
    http://www.annistonstar.com/lifestyle/2009/as-food-0107-0-9a06u2609.htm
    In some Whole Foods they sell packages labeled grits/polenta or vice-versa, though.

  96. Pat Johnson, on February 14th, 2009 at 3:36 pm Said:

    For me, it seems TC has of late decided on a political identity (i.e., left/liberal), whereas before it didn’t choose a label. I may be wrong about that! It seems once you decide on a label it can (not always!) lead to flip rejection of other things contrary to your labelled identity. This was one of the things so disturbing about last year. Of course, I’m not saying one shouldn’t label oneself…it’s each person’s or group’s choice.

  97. Thank you, Cinie!

  98. I have found that blogs have their own cultures. As I’ve indicated in the past I am a senior and just discovered blogs last June. And happily I discovered blogdom through TC – thank goodness because had I landed on some of the others I probably would never have come back.
    But what I’ve learned is that the conversation seems much like a stream of consciousness of many different people – some comments interact immediately and some (as often mine are) come long after the comment it is responding to – I’m still learning and I am grateful to the patience and support I’ve gotten from the Confluent family here.
    I am also impressed on a daily basis by the talent, wisdom and warmth I have found here – even when there has been disagreement.

    I have found this to be a much gentler site than some others I’ve lurked at. Thank you fellow Conflucians

  99. firlight,

    We were always left/liberal here. Most of us thought Obama was too far right. However, we have welcomed centrists and conservatives who were willing to follow our rules of civility. But we were always a liberal blog.

  100. If people will go back to Jan 29-Dak’s thread on “When Will They Ever Learn”, they will find the whole argument between Afrocity and Speaktruth. For example:

    speaktruth 12.09…..
    Sorry, lately I’ve been wondering if there are some
    Repubs on here, making friends, with the intention of
    bringing Pumas into the Repub fold. If that continues it
    seems to me it’s the end of the site.

    catarina, on January 29th, 2009 at 12:20 pm Said:

    Jmac and Speaktruth

    There are many here who no longer consider themselves Dems.

    And then there are “homeless” Dems, like me, who
    are centrist.

    Where to draw the line?

    afrocity, on January 29th, 2009 at 12:26 pm Said:
    Jmac,

    And by the way yes I am a GOP spy on here to turn people into the GOP.

    If you don’t like what I say on here deal with it. If my comments are so dumb and offensive then “smart” people like you should not be offended by them. It is interesting that it is always a so called “DEM” attempting to silence and marginalize someone. You sound like an OBOT . I thought this site was about equality feminism and equality for women. If it is for DEMS only then why aren’t you supporting your DEM President Obama or is your mantra that he is really not a democrat and some boogie man incarnate?

    Woman are a huge voting block and we lost this time due to a lack of unity. Margaret Chase Smith faced the same crap when she ran for president as HRC. So tell me why we should not attempt to have a dialogue with women of all party’s again?

    afrocity, on January 29th, 2009 at 12:34 pm Said:

    I agree JMAC and speaktruth but I don’t attack you personally.

    Could it be that you are r@cist???

    You seem to only come at Elderj and I… and by George and bless my pot of chitterlings Elderj and I are blacks.

    (flipping though wallet) Let me find my race card.

    (taking a play from your own book of tricks)

    (Similar stuff occurred on Jan 23)

  101. Joanelle,

    We were so bruised when we got here. We needed to be gentle with each other. I’m very grateful for it too. I love your comments!

  102. instead of this piece of crap stimulus bill, why doesnt the govt just impose a small consumer tax. that way everyone pays.

  103. Pat Johnson, on February 14th, 2009 at 3:03 pm Said:
    Fredster: See, you understand! Normally I am on the go, in and out, but for some reason this week I got thoroughly lazy. My intentions were good today but…………

    ========================

    I know EXACTLY what you mean. Feeling a great deal of malaise lately. Hard to get motivated to run even basic errands. Some days I don’t even brush my hair.

  104. bb

    Thanks for the clarification.

  105. thanks, BB – I’m not so sure how I’d have gotten through the last few months without this great group – particularly on the significant topics we’ve been discussing lately – you all do such great research and share so willingly.

  106. firlight: I believe in human rights for everybody. A woman’s right to choose. Gay marriage. Freedom of speech. Universal Health Care. A clean electorate. Freedom from corporate interests. Oversight and regulation in industries. The FDA. An educated population. Stem cell research. A workable immigration solution. Accountability. Transparency in government. Freedom of the press. The right to die in dignity. A helping hand. Global warming. The environment. Access.

    And lastly, term limits, as I believe most of the ills we are currently facing have been brought about in large part by those career politicians who look out only for themselves and disregard what is most important. Our stewardship.

    Call it what you will but I prefer to see myself as a liberal.

  107. Amen to term limits!

  108. firlight,

    We were always left/liberal here. Most of us thought Obama was too far right. However, we have welcomed centrists and conservatives who were willing to follow our rules of civility. But we were always a liberal blog.

    I can appreciate that; I ask for the same civil discourse and respect in return

    It seems to me that there are several different “streams” here at TC:

    the feminism / misogyny stream
    the Keynesian economics / liberal spending policy stream
    the social justice / activism / abortion rights stream
    the we’re just friends and like to spout off and play stream

    all of them united in the we think BO is a douchebag stream

    The challenge is thought that many of us joined because of that last bit, but few of us agree on any of the other things at all. We are far left, left, center left, center right, (no one here but me probably, and I’m not thatright, is right or far right) in varying degrees on any of those topics mentioned above. So when we say we’re left/liberal, I don’t think we can even really agree on that very well

  109. Each day topics are arranged by the Front Pagers that usually deal with current affairs. Current affairs on this blog are usually reserved for politics.

    How does one adequately address the topic without pre- conceived notions? We don’t live in a vacuum. Things have occurred that effect our lives. Why a stimulus package that has become such a hot potato? Because the last administration mishandled the whole 8 years of governance. Why are we unable to express our distaste toward a congress who willingly gave Bush every item he wanted regardless of cost of the effect? The Dems had a hand in this too. But until 2006 the Repubs controlled the dialogue.

    The SEC and Wall Street shook hands and looked the other way. Institutions have been brought to their knees and it was only a matter of time when the trickle down effect landed on our front door. Should we just pretend that it was the fault of an unseen presence? Sorry, you cannot discuss the issues without looking for the people and institutions who created it.

    There is no excuse for either side, Dem and Repub alike, but to downplay their respective roles is ineffective.

  110. Pat, Nancy, Yes. Term limits have been more and more on my mind lately. And this is where my Rush Limbaugh fan brother and I are beginning to agree. Term limits.

    This could be our post-partisan moment.

  111. the commenter (yes it’s me):

    I think that when a front-pager says, “we,” we mean The Confluence and most of the front-pagers. So that would mean that most of the front-pagers are liberal/left-leaning and that’s the general inclination of The Confluence as a site policy.

    However, because Riverdaughter and The Moderators like a lively conversation we’ve never deleted commenters who disagree (or should I say just for disagreeing) with us (the moderators.) This has confused many a visitor who thinks that our heavily moderated threads mean we enforce an “echo chamber.”

    We don’t.

  112. the commenter (yes it’s me)
    firlight,
    We were always left/liberal here. Most of us thought Obama was too far right.
    ——————–

    I don’t think Obama is anything other than a chameleon. His positions mirror whom ever he happens to be talking to at the moment. I have seen no clear evidence of any firm conviction on his part. It’s all posturing.

  113. We have openly criticized the MSM along with many journalists and pundits. We have done the same with members of our own party – Nancy, Harry, Emanuel, Kerry, Kennedy, McCasgill, Schumer, Edwards, to name just a few. We have been as critical of the Women’s Movement who have done little to elevate our position along the way.

    Why and when should it be off limits to offer the same critique of the right? I am not sure if I follow the logic or the argument on this.

  114. We are citizens who engage in a number of discussions – I like the working taxonomy at the commenter (yes it’s me), on February 14th, 2009 at 4:13 pm .

    I like that we are often talking about all the streams in a single thread, although I also like it that especially at the beginning of a thread we stick to topic of the thread.

    And why do we have to define ourselves as anything other than “Conflucians”? Or people with enough common interests to enjoy reading what each other have to say and to sometimes engage one another?

  115. Elderj,

    I was only talking about the blog itself being identified as “liberal.” It’s RD’s blog and that is how she sees it. As for those of us who interact here, we come from many points of view, which I personally enjoy!

  116. P.S. to previous comment – I mean for purposes of participating here, why do we have to define ourselves beyond the way I mention? I agree that in other contexts it is very important for people to know: I am no way falling in with core Democratic Party policies or core Republican ones. But that does not seem important for a community of citizens interested in civic, political, and fun discourse with one another.

  117. I see Katiebird already said it better than I did.

  118. heidili,
    And why do we have to define ourselves as anything other than “Conflucians”? Or people with enough common interests to enjoy reading what each other have to say and to sometimes engage one another?

    ———

    Amen!

  119. Polenta isn’t fancy at all. It’s kinda like grits. My mother, a depression-era baby, can’t stand the sight of them because her family ate so much of it when she was a child. Personally, I prefer grits but polenta is yummy too.

  120. Elderj,
    You and I rarely interact directly. But I look forward to what you have to say, read what you write with respect, appreciate being reminded that there is probably more that unites you and I than divides us. Who would have thought that blog could do that for a self-described scary fundamentalist and an out atheist?

  121. BB, that’s funny, I was just thinking that I liked the way YOU said it better!

  122. we’ve never deleted commenters who disagree

    What do you mean “we?”

    I delete trolls, anyone who disagrees with me, and sometimes I just zap people at random.

    😈

  123. We can refer to ourselves as “Conflucians” but it is always wise to remember that you cannot make a coat without a lining. That lining, IMHO, is more liberal by definition.

  124. Heidi, I’m been secretly thinking that I might be more Conflucian than PUMA — just because in my mind there is no doubt about what a Conflucian is — but (some) confusion about PUMA. ( the real question is WHY do I need a label so desperately?)

  125. Katie

    You said the first part of what I was about to post!…”I think mainly the blog host and front pagers are more traditionally left/liberal and the commenters are mixed left to center right..perhaps?”

    Pat

    I don’t see there is any argument against criticizing the right. That would not be logical!

    Heidi

    Exactly!

  126. Elderj-you are forgetting the electoral reform stream-votes count!

  127. Like Pat J., I’m a liberal. I’m also culturally but not religiously Jewish. I’m a woman. I’m a Professor – a real one, who earned the position (wasn’t just a courtesy title because I did a little teaching on the side, like somebody we all can think of…). These are among the concepts through which I understand and identify myself. I am not giving them up.

    And I don’t expect others to give up the concepts they use to understand themselves. The problem arises when we use our concepts of self-understanding to put up barriers against even listening to those who use other, very different concepts. Sure, some concepts are beyond the pale. And sometimes all I can do is listen, and simply not agree. But if I took umbrage whenever I didn’t agree with tone or content of what gets said, here or anywhere, I’d be in a constant state of umbrage. I’m not going to live my life that way.

  128. (NOW our dirty secret is exposed)

  129. anybody looking for good grits?

    please give John some love-great southern recipes too:
    http://www.hoppinjohns.com/cgi-bin/screenbld.asp?Request=HoppinJohnHome

  130. katiebird: ( the real question is WHY do I need a label so desperately?)

    Perhaps because Obama escapes any type of label definition? It would be nice to know just what package he came wrapped in.

  131. firlight2012, since I see “center right” as an insult, I would never actually say that. But, I’m pretty much “left, left left-ish” so I’m possibly not the one to judge.

  132. One aspect (of many) that I love about TC is the conservative commenters. You folks add a vital dimension to the site and I’m grateful that you chose to come here and share your thoughts with us.

  133. Pat J.: I assure you: no conservative on earth thinks this blog is anything but liberal. There are people with other agendas, particularly those who want to deny that there is criticism of BO from the left (as well, obviously) as from the right who want to create the impression that the following equation holds:

    criticize BO = not liberal/conservative

    Well, that’s ridiculous, as you and both know.

    We just have to keep writing and commenting on what we believe in and state the perspective from which we criticize BO and we will make that redefinition impossible. And we must resist that redefinition. It is totalitarian.

  134. heidili – this is true and is one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed frequenting here.

    I don’t mind that this is a liberal/left blog. It is that but I think in fairness it has become more than that, which is why when the ideological barbs are out, they wound more than would be likely in other places. TC was a refuge during the campaign for folks who needed reassurance that they had not indeed lost their minds, and that no, BO was not the 2nd coming, and yes, Hillary was the better candidate, and no, voting for McPalin was not casting a vote for the prince of darkness (no offense to our former VP)

  135. heidi: I can live with that.

  136. Laurie, on February 14th, 2009 at 4:36 pm Said:

    That’s the most important one for me!! I really need to get busy and focus on those issues.

  137. Katie

    I just meant the first part…”I think mainly the blog host and front pagers are more traditionally left/liberal…”

  138. I think we seek labels because they can feel like safe places. BO’s tactics made Democratic Party politics feel totally unsafe to people who had never had trouble straightforwardly calling themselves Democrats before. And BO did that on purpose. He and Pfouffe and Axelrod and Favreau and the rest of them want you/me/us to feel uncomfortable identifying as Democrats because that becomes a self-fulfilling purge of the party.

  139. I love you guys!

    Where else could we have a conversation about the fundamentals of this blog AND grits all at the same time.

  140. Well, color me dense, I somehow missed the fact that afrocity is a Republican. Maybe because I agree with her so much. I’m an ex-Dem, now Independent. My eyes were opened this election season as well, and while I’m a moderate rather than a liberal, I’d certainly rather hang here than anywhere else. I wouldn’t have gotten through this election without this place.

    afrocity and elderj, and anyone else who is thinking of leaving, I hope you don’t. I personally enjoy a good discussion.

  141. heidi- your last comment brings to mind the pressures you may be under in your role. I know that this was the case during the primaries and the election, but do you still feel a great deal of repression or oppression in your academic environment for maintaining your liberal status vis-s-vis your anti-BO status? That may be an understatement, but i am in a relatively isolated area and no longer am bombarded as regularly with such division in my daily life (or maybe I’m in denial!). I agree that the pressures that do emerge verge on totalitarianism.

  142. Heidi, I can’t figure out if the Axeldroogs know what they’re doing or if they just want to win at any cost. What on earth good does it do to drive loyal Dems away from the party? Can that really be their end game?

  143. my comment was eaten

  144. now its been vomited up

  145. I hope The Confluence is always a refuge — if something isn’t addressed by the moderators please draw it to our attention (or email me katiebird@gmail.com)

  146. woops- vis-a-vis- just what I deserve when trying to be schmantzy!

  147. Laurie

    By the way, if you’re still here, a couple days ago we commented about whether McCain’s poll numbers dropped before or after the electronic bank run on money markets in September?

    I saw in the link to Real Clear politics where the graph of poll averages had MCain still ahead of Obama before the run and then crashing after, but I had been looking at the table below the graph of some of the individual poll results. These seemed to show McCain was dropping earlier. It didn’t look like the graph was moving average which could have accounted for a lag? Anyway, would need to look at some more numbers to clarify, I think.

    Gotta go…have a nice weekend y’all!

  148. lililam, on February 14th, 2009 at 4:46 pm Said:

    Thank you for asking. I’m still finding it rough, maybe particularly because I’m in DC, and surrounded by Obama-Dems who think that THE definition of liberal was to vote Obama – even at work. But your question really deserves a lengthier answer – an idea for a post, I think.

  149. the commenter (yes it’s me) – And don’t forget we seniors on SS whose savings have just been flushed by O’s “plan” – we were totally left to fend for ourselves in this whole mess.

    Please don’t leave – you are often the voice of reason when some of us begin to rage about something or other. 😥

  150. Thanks for the answer, Heidi, I have worried about that.

  151. To the people who think there are only a few that interact. That is not a fact. Many times I comment and get no response but many times I do get a response.
    My view is different from some here and I learn a lot by reading the comments. I also get to laugh and talk to people from all over this country and other countries. I get viewpoints from different age groups, why would anyone want to leave that?
    It is very boring to only hear one note of a song. It takes different notes and instruments to make beautiful music.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, EQUALISTS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  152. “Many times I comment and get no response but many times I do get a response.”

    I think it’s because of what Heidi (??) said earlier. That often we agree with a comment but don’t have anything to add to it — so we don’t say anything.

    But, I TOTALLY understand the hurt of spending time crafting a thoughtful comment and not hearing anything in reply.

    It makes a certain amount of sense, because we could be filling up with hundreds of, “I agree” or “What she said” comments. So, I don’t know what is the answer.

    Maybe we need to find a balance — A couple of times a day or so mention comments that have been especially meaningful that didn’t require an immediate response????

    I’m especially bad because I spend a lot of time in the Moderation Window and I get lazy about coming over here to converse.

  153. I suspect this is a worn out thread. I do not visit many blogs because they seem to be mostly visited by people who are more into sliming each other than they are into having a true dialog. I do not find that to be the culture of this blog. I like that the gatekeepers appear to keep the Obot traffic minimal; yet, we still have interesting discussions.

    The avalanche of haste that brought this stimulus to passage concerns me deeply and I think as more is revealed the haste will add up to far more waste than any of us ever thought.

    I do disagree on a few items; I do not think school construction should be in this bill only because such projects take 3-4 years to truly move forward and to me they miss the test of getting things done now.

    My own experience is that most of the laborers in construction here in CA are definitely different shades of brown but they are still mainly male workers. (Not, however a lot of AA brown.) I would like to see more spending for work force roles occupied by women but these jobs often do not pay well in both health care and education. BTW this is my prejudice but I believe that one of the big problems in education is that there are so many more men teaching and some are great but some are definitely not and there to “cosch” a sports team more than teach a class.

  154. elder: polenta is what Italians call grits … it’s to northern italians what potatoes are to the irish … but for some reason it’s called mush or grits here in the US

  155. dakini
    in Southern Italy they feed it to the pigs 😉

  156. dakinikat, on February 14th, 2009 at 7:27 pm Said:
    elder: polenta is what Italians call grits … it’s to northern italians what potatoes are to the irish … but for some reason it’s called mush or grits here in the US
    ===================================
    I’ve never had either grits or polenta, but I know my Italian mother-in-law used to serve it on a wooden tray set into the middle of the table. Those who ate it pulled small parts of the pie towards themselves with a knife but left it on the middle serving board. I was somewhat astounded by this and still actually think this isn’t a high class eating style exactly.
    My brother in law who has lived in the South ever since he went to college in FL loves grits, especially for breakfast..
    To each his own.

  157. Mother in law served polenta, in case the “it “was confusing.

  158. I wrote something up in response to Liliam’s question. I might put it up here later but if not here’s the link: http://tdg.typepad.com/heidi_lis_potpourri/2009/02/for-a-friend-what-it-is-like-to-be-a-liberal-law-professor-in-washington-dc-in-february-2009.html

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    Jangles, on February 14th, 2009 at 7:08 pm Said:
    I don’t know if the thread is worn out, but I appreciate your comment

    helenk, on February 14th, 2009 at 6:28 pm Said:

    Yours too, helenk.

  159. Already the conservative media is whining about the return to welfare, as if there is universal consensus that whenever someone takes money from the government they become a worthless animal. I oppose a lot of what is in this plan, but mostly what is absent from it: help for students, help for women and so on. We are in a terrible economic crisis. While I don’t think shovels will dig us out of this, I think Republicans are wrong that tax cuts will. They have not. This package is a stinking mush of conflicting ideologies without any pragmatism, from a guy who says he is non-ideological and is pragmatic. I say, stand up and be a liberal–but Democrats have forgotten how to balance on two legs and stand up.

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